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What is WhatsApp Business and how does it work?

To use WhatsApp as a company, you need a WhatsApp Business account. There are two options to communicate with customers, 1) the WhatsApp Business App or 2) via the WhatsApp Business API. In this blog we explain when it is useful to choose one or the other.



What is WhatsApp Business?

WhatsApp Business is WhatsApp’s official solution for connecting companies and customers – in addition to friends and family. In other words, with WhatsApp Business you can use WhatsApp for business. WhatsApp does not allow companies to use the consumer version of WhatsApp.

If you have decided to use WhatsApp for Business, you can do so in two ways: via the WhatsApp Business App or with the WhatsApp Business API. Which way suits you best depends on what you want to use it for. Curious which option suits you? Then read on quickly.


The WhatsApp Business app

If you mainly want to be reachable, you can easily get started yourself with a mobile phone and the WhatsApp Business App. This is useful for freelancers or small businesses that work from one location. WhatsApp requires that you are always in the same location as the phone that is running WhatsApp, and only one person at a time can have conversations with customers.

The WhatsApp Business app can be downloaded for free. You can do the same with it as with the consumer app: you can easily send (voice) messages, have video calls and send multimedia files. You arrange everything within your browser with Web WhatsApp. In addition, there are already a number of useful feautures available for companies in the WhatsApp Business app:


1. Create a WhatsApp Business profile

In your company profile you can enter useful information, such as a description of your company, your logo, your address, an e-mail address and your website url. There is room for everything your customers want to know!




2. Create WhatsApp quick replies

Quick messages, also known as Quick Replies, allow you to share frequently used replies. By typing a slash and letter you get an answer in no time. Set your frequently asked questions and amaze your conversation partner with a lightning-fast answer.


3. Label your conversations

By cleverly sorting conversations with labels, such as ‘new customers’ or ‘unfinished orders’, you can understand what your conversations are about. That way you always know where you left off in the last conversation. Bet your customer appreciates that too?

4.  Create WhatsApp auto replies

If a customer texts you when you’re not working, it’s nice to respond with a “Thank you for your message! At this time we are still sleeping 💤😴, but we will contact you as soon as possible 📱. ” This is how you manage your customer’s expectations and score on customer satisfaction.



5. Display products with the WhatsApp product catalog

With an up-to-date catalog, your customers can already see which products or services you offer. Send your customer on a journey of discovery in your catalog and then easily share your products or services in the conversation. Here you can read how to set up a catalog.


WhatsApp product catelogus

The WhatsApp Business API

Is your company spread over multiple locations, do you have a customer service team or are you planning to use WhatsApp for higher volumes? Then onboarding your business on the WhatsApp Business API is the answer to your questions.


The API ensures that incoming conversations end up in one inbox, such as in the Saysimple dashboard. This allows you to answer – and manage – incoming chat conversations with multiple users. Without limit to locations or users.

The Saysimple multichannel inbox gives you more features and functionalities at your fingertips to achieve your goals. In addition to the above-mentioned basic features of the WhatsApp Business app, with the Whatsapp Business API connected with our platform you can also:


1. Advanced search and filtering

Tags make it easy to assign, archive, and prioritize conversations. And with the advanced search function you will immediately find the conversation you are looking for.


Labels and tags

2. Route to the right agents, department or location

With smart routing you set rules so that an incoming inquires via WhatsApp or Webchat automatically goes to the right person, department or location. Routing starts from every new conversation initiated by the customer.

3. Bundle multiple channels in one inbox

Our inbox is not limited to one channel. You can also link all your incoming conversations, such as from Facebook Messenger, E-mail or Webchat to the same inbox. This makes picking up and assigning conversations easy and improves the productivity of the service team. More conversations in less time!


WhatsApp Business met meerdere gebruikers

4. Create customer profiles & take notes

Customer profiles give you more insight into the customer. Before the conversation has started, you know the name of the customer, the company, the reference and through which channel it came in. You enter this manually – or you link the profile to an existing CRM system. An agent can also add internal comments or notes to a conversation. In short, that prevents a lot of “your colleague has already asked that” – irritations. But more importantly, that predicts a lot of “how nice that he thinks about that” reactions. This way you have everything within reach to provide customer with an excellent experience.

5. Initiate conversations with WhatsApp Message Templates

Collect opt-ins from your customers to deliver templated messages over WhatsApp. Once your customers are opted-in, you can proactively send alerts and notifications in real time. Using WhatsApp Business message templates is a must when reaching out to customers on WhatsApp since they ensure a high-quality messaging experience and prevent marketing spam.

You can create different message templates, depending on your business needs. These include:

  • Simple, text-only notifications, such as account statuses or delivery reminders.
  • Rich media notifications, such as e-receipts, boarding passes, and onboarding videos.
  • Interactive notifications with buttons that direct customers to perform an action, such as visiting your site, contacting your support team, or scheduling an appointment.

6. Reduce phone calls with WhatsApp call deflection

By simply adjusting your welcome message from your IVR system, you give customers the option to start a conversation via WhatsApp. “Press 1 to continue the conversation on WhatsApp.” Preventing waiting times and initiating WhatsApp calls has never been so simple. This makes call deflection a win-win for your customer contact.

Comply with the GDPR with the WhatsApp Business API

In addition to all these features, the WhatsApp Business API has one more very important advantage: you always comply with the GDPR. Because you work with customer data, it is important that your data is stored professionally and securely. With the WhatsApp Business API:

  • Your data is safely stored in the cloud. You prevent a data breach by losing or stealing your mobile phone.
  • Are you (and your employees) the only one who has access to your contacts? With the WhatsApp Business app, your contacts are exchanged with Facebook.
  • We conclude the data processing agreement for you. Before you save data of a customer, you must conclude a  data processing agreement with WhatsApp. If you work with the app, you have to do this yourself.
  • Can you exercise the rights of data subjects. A customer can invoke the rights of those involved: you are then obliged to share all data that is stored about him or her.
  • Secure access to your data. Set up security methods such as IP whitelisting, single sign on (SSO) and two factor authentication (2FA).


Which option of WhatsApp Business suits your company?

In the table below we have listed the differences between the WhatsApp Business App and the WhatsApp Business API for you:

WhatsApp Business App vs. API comparison



The best way for your company to use WhatsApp depends on which goals you want to achieve. Do you mainly want contact and accessibility from one location? And can you manage all conversations with one agent? Then you can work with the WhatsApp Business app and a connection via the Whatsapp Desktop or Web App. The WhatsApp Business app is a great solution for freelancers and small businesses.

If you work from multiple locations, have a customer service team or want to join existing systems to continuously improve your service (such as Salesforce, TOPdesk, NEC / BCT, UnameIT and Websolve). Or is sensitive information shared in your conversations? Then we advise you to connect to the WhatsApp Business API and use a unified inbox for multiple users.



Ultimately, everyone wants a solution that yields returns. Starting with the WhatsApp Business app seems like a logical solution. But when your business start growing, multiple phones and SIM cards become an expense. Those telephones also need to be maintained, managed and monitored. That is why it pays off in the long term to opt for the API and a central WhatsApp Business solution. This way you can easily integrate WhatsApp with your existing software and you can conduct conversations from one inbox for all your channels. The inbox ensures a worry-free connection with a price that scales with your use.


Want to know more?

We are happy to think along with you about the right mix of your digital service channels. We have more than 5 year experience with the WhatsApp Business API and combine messaging software, knowledge and data to convert traditional customer contact into conversations with value.

We do this together with our customers in, among others, the automotive, wholesale, retail and e-commerce sector. Their wishes and feedback form the basis for our platform developments. Curious what we can do for you? Request a free demo today or download our ultimate guide to WhatsApp Business.

WhatsApp customer journey guide